A Sleaford family are holding their third fundraising ball in aid of Arthritis Research, inspired by their own experiences with the condition.
Katie O’Halloran, Katie Brockington, Lucy Creedon, Jackie Creedon and Suzanne Creedon are planning the charity ball for Saturday February 11.
This is the third event, known as the You Only Live Once ball, this time staged at Woodland Waters in Ancaster as the event has grown each year, starting with 120 guests and rising to 200.
Katie O’Halloran said: “We have raised over £4,000 so far in our previous balls for Arthritis Research UK. This year we are fundraising for Arthritis Research and also donating some of the money to Peterborough Hospital who are fundraising for a piece of equipment for arthritis patients.”
She said: “My cousin Lucy woke up at 18 at university and couldn’t move. Salmonella food poisoning had led to her getting osteo-reactive arthritis overnight and her body had locked.
“Her family had to do everything for her and over time she could walk again and returned to university with lots of medication.”
Miraculously, 15 years later, the condition disappeared during her second pregnancy and they are hoping she is clear after a year free of the illness. There are cases where this is known to have happened, however she was temporarily cured during her first pregnancy only for it to return when her daughter was born.
Katie’s other cousin Katie Brockington is still suffering with rheumatoid arthritis which got worse after her second pregnancy and takes daily medication. She has to go to Peterborough Hospital every ten weeks for an infusion to keep it under control.
Despite their challenges, Katie holds down a full time job as a headteacher and Lucy also works in education.
The family hope Arthritis Research can find a cure related to the pregnancy or female hormone.
The evening will be about raising awareness and money. Local businesses have sponsored tables and more are welcome, as well as raffle prize donations. Contact 07816 182649.
“We are incredibly humbled and grateful for the support,” said Katie.